Meet Mart Hofmans: Participant of Chasin’ the Sunset
It is not only the challenging battle against the sunset that is focused on during Chasin’ the Sunset, but also the battle of participants against themselves. Ultimately, they are the ones who take up this challenge, push their boundaries and get the most out of themselves. That is why we talked to Mart Hofmans, who is currently already preparing for Chasin’ the Sunset, and has set his own goals. Below you can read how he wants to achieve them, and how important the organisation of the event is for this.
Which events have you already participated in before as a rider?
Within cycling, I focus mainly on mountain biking and participate in races in the Netherlands and abroad. In 2015, I participated in the ABSA Cape Epic in South Africa (800 kilometres and 16,000 metres in altitude in 8 days). One year later, I really acquired a taste for it and participated in the Salzkammergut Trophy in Austria (210 kilometres and 7,100 metres in altitude). In addition, I participated in a number of challenges, such as climbing the Mont Ventoux three times in one day via three different MTB routes. After these races, which focus mainly on long-range endurance, I participated in cross-country races for two years, and took part in races throughout Europe. In the winter of 2019/2020 I made the switch to races of 70 to 80 kilometres, but unfortunately I have not yet had the opportunity to participate in such races. However, that is one of my goals for 2021!
What distinguishes Chasin’ from your previous challenges?
The first big difference is that Chasin’ the Sunset is ridden on a racing bike, and not on my ‘trusted’ MTB. In addition, the number of kilometres covered each day will be more than I have ever done up to now. During the races that I mentioned before, I was never on a bicycle for longer than 210 kilometres, which means that Chasin’ will be a great opportunity to push this boundary!
In addition, Chasin’ the Sunset is quite similar to the Cape Epic. The event is all-inclusive, which means that all I have to do is cover those 300 kilometres a day as fast as possible. During my race in South Africa I experienced that this is very nice. If as an athlete you can focus on that one goal while everything else has been taken care of, it costs you a lot less energy.
How do you prepare for Chasin’ the Sunset?
Chasin’ the Sunset will be right in the middle of my racing season, and too much endurance training on the bike will cause my speed during 70 or 80-kilometre races to drop. However, I will be focusing on endurance training more during the winter, to lay a foundation. I will use this foundation to focus on Chasin’, and for the last bit I will have to rely on willpower.
Which personal goals do you have when you participate in an event such as Chasin’ the Sunset?
Finishing in the top 5 is the biggest goal. In addition, it is also good to cross off this challenge, but that alone is not enough for me.
What are your preconditions for success during this challenge?
As I described before, the all-inclusive nature of Chasin’ is one of the most important preconditions. It allows me as an athlete to focus completely on a good ranking and to get the most out of myself every day. Moreover, the weather conditions and being lucky enough not to have a flat tyre too often are of great importance. Furthermore, in my opinion you can influence the other preconditions very well as an athlete in order to get the most out of yourself.
Which dynamics does cycling in pairs involve?
Training and having a tough time together already creates a bond before you have even started. In addition, it is important that you know each other well and can trust each other. That you do not wear each other out and that you know your partner’s cycling behaviour through and through, so that you can sit in their wheel as efficiently as possible. Working towards a certain goal together always involves something special.
When is your participation in Chasin’ successful?
Once we have finished in one piece in France and have made the top 5!